As the weather gets colder and the days shorter, one thing is certain, employees will get sick and being prepared is the best defense. The flu season officially arrives in Canada come November and finishes in March. Health Canada estimates that between 10-20% of Canadians will get the flu every year. Flu season has always been a trying time for companies when it comes to ensuring productivity in the workplace. Each year, millions of Canadians come down with the flu. This significantly increases the chance of employees having to take sick days to overcome their symptoms, which decreases employee productivity. It’s also important to point out that the flu virus is very contagious. Employees may feel like they are doing a good thing by coming into work regardless of the fact they are sick, but they will likely do more harm than good by infecting their co-workers. It is vital that steps are taken to combat the flu season effectively for a healthier work environment.
Why it’s important to keep employees healthy this flu season
During the winter season, it’s important to keep employees healthy and invest in an office wellness program that works for each business. The average company loses around $100,000 due to employee illness every year during flu season, and in January 2018, there were over 15,000 laboratory confirmed cases of the flu spreading throughout Canada.
According to stats, providing an office wellness program to combat the flu season can reduce employee sickness and boost morale, in which experts agree, morale is an underrated factor for productivity. According to Healthmine, 38% of wellness program participants said it helped them take fewer sick days.
How to keep employees happy and healthy during winter
Encourage employees to be active – join a sports team or head to the gym after work. Provide healthy snacks such as protein bars or fruit smoothies for employees, as well as have hand sanitizer and Kleenex available at the office.
Consider publishing a weekly or monthly workplace wellness newsletter with tips and tricks on how to combat the cold weather and stay healthy, no matter what season it is.
61% of employees agree they’ve made healthier lifestyle choices because of their company’s wellness program. Boosting office morale and encouraging employees to speak up when they’re not feeling well will reassure them that it’s okay, and necessary, to take sick days when they’re under the weather. It’s important to let employees know that the business cares about them, which will result in happier, more productive employees.
Office wellness has been proven to boost morale as well as keep productivity up during flu season. If you’re interested in how you can get started with an employee wellness program contact your Advisors or contact a Benecaid Benefits Consultant today at 416-626-8786 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.